- 1 Book Summary - Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus
Book Summary - Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus
Let’s face it: we all want to be better. We want to be in better shape, having better sex, eating more vegetables, and just generally living better, more fulfilling lives. But how? In Own the Day, Own Your Life, author Aubrey Marcus breaks down the two key barriers to self-optimization: energy and time. Through simple routine and behavior changes, Marcus provides easy-to-follow steps for living a happier, healthier life.
Life Hacking 101: Hydration
If you are anything like me, you wake up in the morning, bleary-eyed, and stumble to your coffeemaker where you brew that first glorious cup. It’s a ritual, it’s a habit...and it’s actually hurting your health.
While sleeping, the average person loses approximately a pound of water by way of sweat. Therefore, when we wake up in the morning, we are often dehydrated and in immediate need of H20.
This biological desire for water is amplified if we worked out or had a few drinks the night before, especially in dry climates. Many times, we are actually dehydrated before we even go to bed. This is why you should always keep a glass of water on your nightstand!
Unlike water, when you drink coffee on an empty stomach, your body jumps into flight or fight mode. The stress hormones that emerge when the caffeine hits your bloodstream can actually lead to intense anxiety.
Instead, start your day with a glass of water, a drop of salt, and some fresh lemon. This way, you will rehydrate your body while also getting essential nutrients--potassium, calcium, and zinc.
Put that coffee down!
Lucky Charms. White bread. Packaged juice. What do these three items have in common? All are simple carbohydrates. This means that they contain refined sugar and hardly any fiber.
While you will often see these foods--and other simple carbohydrates--made out to be staples of the American diet, it is important to recognize the potentially detrimental impact they can have on your health.
Simple carbohydrates cause a quick, rapid rise in sugar levels. In response to this sudden increase, your body releases the hormone insulin. Insulin, while helpful to your sugar levels, can make you irritable and lethargic in the short-term as well as lead to major health issues in the long-term, such as heart disease and diabetes.
And simple carbohydrates hurt more than just your body--they can actually have a global impact.
A 2011 study in Israel found that prisoners were way more likely to be granted parole if the decision-makers had eaten a meal during the time that the sugar level in their bloodstream was rising. They were much less willing to free prisoners when their blood sugar levels were low. Imagine how many other major decisions are impacted by whether or not a key decision-maker has eaten lunch?!
Vitamins on the Side: The Importance of Supplements
If we were alive ten-thousand years ago, our lives would have been drastically different. For the worse, in many ways. However, in terms of our diets, our dinners of hunted game and vegetation would actually be much healthier than the food we eat today.
Centuries ago, we were eating animals that lived off of wild vegetation. Today, the products we are eating, such as beef, dairy, and eggs, come from animals that were raised on corn. Corn is significantly lacking in terms of nutrients and minerals.
So, how do we compensate for the lack of nutrients in modern human diets?
Supplements. Unlike our prehistoric ancestors, we have the ability to make up for gaps in our nutrition.
A good supplement to start with is Vitamin D. While your body is capable of producing Vitamin D on its own, you have to spend lots of time in the sun in order to achieve this, which is not always feasible given our chaotic, busy lives. Geography plays a role as well...you might live somewhere where there is hardly any sun!
Vitamin D is known for its ability to fight depression, reduce your risk of many diseases, and can also be associated with weight loss. It can be found in pill form at your local grocery store.
In the world today, more than one billion people are Vitamin D deficient.
Why Naps Matter
It usually hits you around 1 PM. You have just finished eating a meal and you arrive back at your desk feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate.
What you are experiencing here is the post-lunch slump.
When you start to feel this way, resist the urge to pick up that energy drink or make yourself some coffee.
Instead, the best thing you can do for your body when you hit a post-lunch slump is taking a nap. Unlike caffeine, naps improve motor and cognitive performance significantly as well as logical reasoning abilities and immune system function.
Just make sure you are keeping your nap short so that you don’t go too far in the other direction and make yourself even more sluggish!
And if you are ever doubting the power of a quick nap, think of those who came before you: Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, and Napoleon. All were major advocates for the curative powers of a nap!
The Big Picture
Do you ever wish you could just take a miracle pill that would help you lose weight, reduce your stress, and strengthen your muscles all at once? The good news is...such a drug exists. The bad news? It’s called exercise and it takes work to see results.
While most people are relatively aware of the many benefits of exercise, more than 80% of Americans are not getting as much exercise as they should be on a weekly basis.
Because of failures in goal setting.
For instance, some men start working out with the ultimate goal of strengthening their pectoral muscles, only to discover that by the time you reach middle age, this isn’t really possible. Then, instead of pursuing a different exercise goal, these individuals simply give up and stop going to the gym altogether.
To avoid this form of burnout, focus on the health aspect--not a certain part of your appearance--when creating an exercise goal. Instead of aiming to change the way a body part looks, measure your success by how you feel. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Humans are attracted to healthy humans.
In advertising, sex is everywhere. From car commercials to beauty product advertisements, we are inundated with images related to sex--craving it, having it, wanting more of it. Wherever you look, it’s there.
In addition to the pleasure-related benefits of sex, there is significant research that indicates regular sexual contact as being advantageous to your health.
Studies show that sex can have a variety of impacts on health, including increasing prostate health, enhancing healing, raising pain tolerance, and even fighting depression.
The research also found that men who had sex less than once a week were two times as likely to experiences issues with erectile dysfunction.
So, sex is great and all, but what do you do if you are not having enough?
Increase your testosterone levels! While we often hear testosterone talked about in the context of males, the hormone testosterone is actually found in both males and females. As you age, your testosterone levels naturally decrease.
In order to fight off the lessening of your testosterone as you get older, you will need to add more fat to what you eat. High-fat diets increase testosterone levels significantly, so next time you are out getting groceries, pick up some avocados and nuts!
Your body (and your sex life) will thank you.
The Main Take-away
Sex. Health. A significantly more awesome life. These are all things that we hope for and, with a few simple ‘hacks’, should be able to obtain. Through the processes of staying hydrated, supplementing with vitamins, exercising effectively, napping strategically, and increasing your testosterone levels, Marcus provides a highly readable blueprint for taking ownership of--and taking back--your one and only life.
About the Author
Aubrey Marcus was born in Santa Monica, California in 1981. After earning degrees in both Philosophy and Classics from the University of Richmond, Marcus went on to become an industry leader in holistic medicine.
Utilizing a philosophy called ‘Total Human Optimization’, Marcus spreads motivational messages around the world through his Inc. 500 c0mpany, Onnit. He is also a passionate advocate for psychedelic medicine.
Marcus’s commentary has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, The Doctors, and The Joe Rogan Experience.
Own Your Day, Own Your Life is his first book.